My broadband provider has raised its prices, do I have to pay?

Thanks to the thousands of supporters who backed our Fixed Means Fixed campaign, it is now possible for you to cancel your contract if the price is raised.

Cancel a broadband contract

For contracts taken out before 23 January 2014, the only way to guarantee you’re not penalised for cancelling a contract is to cancel within the cooling-off period.

If you want to cancel a credit agreement, the Consumer Credit Act gives you a 14-day cooling off period to cancel the agreement.

Previous to 23 January 2014, there are no rules in place that allow you to cancel because of price hikes during your contract and if you cancel before the minimum contract term is up, you have to pay an early termination fee. These fees can be very high.

For example, if you sign up to an 18 month contract and want to cancel in the second month, you may have to pay 16 month's worth of fees.

If you’ve complain to your broadband provider and are not happy with the way they've dealt with your complaint, you can use our letter of deadlock to notify your provider of your intention to take your complaint to the Ombudsman.

These rules still apply to any contract taken out before 23 January 2014. 

Broadband providers you can rely on

Every year we survey thousands of customers about their broadband provider to find out how the providers compare for value, customer service and overall customer satisfaction. Use our recommendations to find a broadband company you can rely on.

Price hike? Cancel without penalty

Rules set by the regulator Ofcom mean that customers can leave mobile, landline or broadband contracts penalty-free if a provider ups prices mid-term if it's bigger than the RPI rate.

You can cancel your contract and switch to any other provider, as long as you do so within 30 days of being told about the price increase.

But, if your broadband provider has warned you about rises in their terms and conditions and they are in line with RPI, you won’t be able to leave if you’re still locked into a contract. If you do want to leave, you'll have to pay an exit fee.

If you’re outside the minimum term of your contract then you’ll be allowed to leave without paying. You should check with your provider about how much notice you need to give to do this.

Broadband contracts and RPI

Your broadband provider may be able to hike the price of your fixed contract by the rate of the Retail Price Index (RPI). 

What is RPI?

Each month the Government announces the RPI, also known as the headline rate of inflation, which shows the percentage price rise over the past 12 months. The latest RPI figures are available on the Office of National Statistics website.

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